Is income from the sale of meteorites taxable in Turkey
Villagers in eastern Turkey have reportedly earned more than one million Turkish lira (nearly US$400,000) from selling meteorite fragments that showered the area in September 2015. Should this income be taxable?
In September 2015 when a meteorite fell over the village of Saricicek in the eastern province of Bingöl in Turkey, residents soon became part of a modern-day gold rush. When it emerged how much money people were making by selling pieces of the fragmented meteorite, the Turkish government had to determine whether this income was taxable.
Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek took to Twitter to ask Turkish users whether they thought income from the sale of meteorites should be taxable. At least 72% of the more than 30,000 people who responded said “no”.
Simsek went on to announce that the sale of meteorite fragments by Bingöl locals, up to a value of 21,000 Turkish lira (US$7,000), will be treated as ‘incidental’ income and will not be taxed. However people who come to the area from other cities for commercial purposes will be subject to a progressive tax between 15% and 35%, according to their income.
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Ozan Arıkan/İlkay Suvakçı
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